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PART I. ANTI-METAPHYSIC AND NATURALISM
§ 1. The Decay Of Idealism.
§ 2. The Tübingen School.
§ 3. Historical Materialism.
§ 4. The Psychology Of Peoples.
§ 5. Naturalism.
§ 6. Lotze.
§ 7. The New Tendencies.
PART II. EMPIRICISM
§ 1. The Philosophy Of The Given.
§ 2. The Theory Of Objects.
§ 3. Critical Empiricism.
§ 4. The Philosophy Of Illusion.
PART III. NEO-KANTIANISM
§ 1. Lange.
§ 2. Liebmann and Riehl.
§ 3. Mathematical And Platonic Tendencies In Kantianism.
§ 4. The Philosophy Of Value.
§ 5. History.
§ 6. Neo-Kantian Vitalism.
§ 7. The New Historical Materialism.
§ 8. Neo-Kantian Theology.
An excerpt from the beginning of the INTRODUCTION:
This naturalistic movement destroyed all sense of the historical character of thought. Absolutely anti-historical and impersonal, it introduced a new abstract philosophy, a philosophy of ideal forms outside the process of history. The keynote of its method was the conception of "laws of nature," understood as a system of realities existing objectively ab æterno; and its political correlative was that latest form of socialism which, having renounced all association with its own earlier phase as uncomfortably reminiscent of the historical interpretation of the world, entered into an alliance with positivism.
In its very beginnings we see reflected the impersonal and anti-historical character of this naturalistic philosophy. It did not develop, in the proper sense of the word, but merely increased in bulk by the sedimentary accretion of elements from outside: it did not appear in the different countries as the continuation of a spontaneous historical movement, but spread like a flood from one country into another, nowhere displaying any peculiar local characteristics, but maintaining everywhere the same level. We can see this already in the philosophy immediately following Hegel, which was rapidly transplanted into the various countries of Europe, even where the existing historical traditions of thought rendered assimilation almost impossible. This is the surest sign of its naturalistic character, because a philosophy like the Hegelian, which was the culminating point of a very special historical development, could only have been transplanted into such different surroundings at the cost of losing all that was most characteristic and vital in it.
The naturalism which sprang from the empirical sciences spread in exactly the same way, but on a larger scale. The forms it assumed in each country were precisely similar. German naturalism differed in no respect from French, nor did French from English, and so on. Not one of them displayed any special peculiarity of its own except in so far as it was the thought of a particular subject, that is to say a process of individualization. But the object, being an abstract universal, was incapable of displaying any correlative uniqueness. And so we see this philosophy growing in every country during the whole of the nineteenth century, by the mere aggregation of ideas, each exponent of it influencing all the others. Mill, Spencer, Comte, Fechner and Haeckel were all successfully acclimatized to every environment, and everywhere they found successors and disciples.
But while in its attempt to abjure history naturalism did nothing more than erect into a final conclusion what was in fact only a conflict of ideas, this conflict was finding a solution in another field. The criticism of the Revolutionary philosophy which had been outlined by the great German idealists was born before its time and never completed; but the problem was attacked once more, and this time successfully, in the sphere of practical politics.
The organization of nationalities is the true criticism of the abstract universalism which dominated the eighteenth century. This historical process, which is still going on to-day, was just beginning at the moment when Hegel thought it had already reached its close and its culmination in Germany. And thus Hegel, who compared philosophy to the owl of Minerva which spreads its wings at dusk— when a historical movement is concluded—really heralded with his own philosophy the dawn of the whole historical development of the nineteenth century. This is explained when we reflect that his philosophy was the outcome of that ferment of ideas which marked the political redemption of Germany, and that his all-absorbing patriotism led him to mistake a mere premonitory upheaval for the consummation of the entire process.